NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Live Long, Live Well: Quantifying the Health of Heterogenous Populations

John Mullahy

NBER Working Paper No. 7895
Issued in September 2000
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE

Various health-, quality-, and disability-adjusted life year or life expectancy (HALY, QALY, DALY; HALE, QALE, DALE) measures have become gold standards for defining outcomes in technology evaluation, population health monitoring, and other evaluative efforts. As such, it is critical that the analytical framework within which these measures are used for descriptive and evaluative purposes be theoretically consistent and statistically rigorous. For instance, widely-accepted definitions of cost-effectiveness ratios and other technology evaluation criteria that are based on expectations of the respective cost and outcome measures must as such be defined in terms of expected HALYs or QALYs. Similarly, measures like HALEs or QALEs used for population health monitoring are typically concerned with population expectations of such measures (or their corresponding totals). This paper demonstrates that estimation of such expectations necessarily requires consideration of the population variation in and covariation between quality and longevity. From the perspective of several different environments characterizing such heterogeneity, quantification or estimation of measures like QUALs are recondidered. An empirical example of the central issues is provided by means of an analysis of the Years of Healthy Life (YHL) measure drawn from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey.

download in pdf format
   (2330 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (2330 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7895

Published: John Mullahy, 2001. "Live long, live well: quantifying the health of heterogeneous populations," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 429-440. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Meltzer Theoretical Foundations of Medical Cost-Effectiveness Analysis -- Implications for the Measurement of Benefits and Costs of Medical Interventions
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us